Oct 192016
 October 19, 2016  crafts, Day of the Dead, raising world citizens Comments Off on Easy Day of the Dead Craft

Easy, No Prep Day of the Dead Craft | Alldonemonkey.com

Looking for a fun, no-prep Day of the Dead craft using materials you already have? Here is a fun one that you can do anytime with your kids – and it’s not even messy! (Mom for the win!) All you need is paper, markers, glue, and cereal – that’s it! It’s a great after school activity to encourage creativity and learning, and it comes with a built in snack 😉

Easy Day of the Dead Craft





Cereal: We used Trix and Cocoa Puffs because they are so colorful, just like the Day of the Dead skulls and decorations. My kids didn’t mind having them to snack on while they worked, either!

Easy No Prep Day of the Dead Craft | Alldonemonkey.com


Draw or download a Day of the Dead skull image

Decorate the image using your markers until you have a final design. Day of the Dead skulls are often decorated with flowers. You can also give yours a fun hat or costume!

Easy No Prep Day of the Dead Craft | Alldonemonkey.com

Glue the Trix and Cocoa Puffs cereal onto your design to add color and texture.

Easy No Prep Day of the Dead Craft | Alldonemonkey.com

Once you’ve completed your pictures, set them out to dry and enjoy a snack!

For more Day of the Dead fun, don’t miss the big General Mills Day of the Dead event in Los Angeles on October 29 from 12-8 pm! You can also find recipes, more event information, videos, and coupons on the Cereal con Cariño homepage!

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Children's Books for Day of the Dead | Alldonemonkey.com

The Day of the Dead is rapidly becoming a popular holiday in the United States.  The following books are great to teach children about the holiday, and range from books that are more informational to those that are more for fun and finally to those that center on children who are dealing with the loss of loved ones.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.

Children’s Books for Day of the Dead


A great book to introduce children to this festival is The Day of the Dead/El Dia de Los Muertos. It’s rhyming text covers the basics of the holiday without being too overwhelming for young readers (additional information is included at the book). The artwork itself – which was inspired by the work of well-known Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada – is wonderful, incorporating traditional symbols and capturing the spirit of Day of the Dead.

One of my favorite discoveries was Un barrilete / Barrilete: para el Día de los Muertos / A Kite for the Day of the Dead.  It is a beautifully photographed book about a young boy in a village in Guatemala famous for the incredible kites the villagers make every year for Day of the Dead.  It is a wonderful book because it tells how Day of the Dead is celebrated outside Mexico and lets children take a peek into the lives of other children as they prepare their incredible kites and get ready for a very special day.

Fun with Calaveras (Skeletons)

Some of these books do not specifically mention Day of the Dead, but they all either exhibit artwork associated with the holiday or are in the spirit of the festival.

The art of paper mache skeletons is celebrated in this ABC book for Day of the Dead. Based on the life and work of a real family of artisans in Mexico, Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book tells of a family getting ready for Day of the Dead by making their special life-sized paper mache skeletons, which are then featured in an A-Z display of all the different professions an aspiring skeleton might be, whether an Angel or Bruja or a Zapatero!

I love the illustrations and poetry in The Festival of Bones / El festival de las calaveras, a wonderful look at how skeletons celebrate Day of the Dead after being cooped up all year. Also includes an essay at the end about the holiday, including recipes and activities.

Mi Familia Calaca / My Skeleton Family does not actually mention Day of the Dead, though its theme of a skeleton family is an obvious reference.  The text itself is quite simple; the real star is the artwork: paper mache skeletons made by a young artist from Oaxaca, Mexico, in the traditional method.  (Each figure took one month to construct!)  This is a great book to showcase skeleton art from Mexico and how, unlike in the United States, skeletons there are not seen as creepy or scary at all!

A list of Latino children’s books just wouldn’t be complete without including the incomparable Yuyi Morales.  Just a Minute! is a fun trickster tale and counting book, in which clever Grandma Beetle outwits Señor Calavera (Mister Skeleton), who has come to take her away.  She agrees to go but delays him with Uno (One) having to sweep one house, Dos (Two) having to boil two pots of tea, and so on until Señor Calavera unwittingly helps Grandma Beetle prepare a special surprise that makes him forget all about taking her away!  We love reading this book together, as well as the sequel Just In Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book, when Señor Calavera prepares for Grandma Beetle’s party by looking for a very special gift.  Learn vocabulary and the Spanish alphabet as he searches for what Grandma Beetle would love the most.

Another fun skeleton book is The Dead Family Diaz, about a dead family preparing to make their annual trip to the Land of the Living during the Day of the Dead festival.  But young Angelito is scared about what the living are like.  Is it true that they are squishy and have bulging eyes like his sister says?  When he gets separated from his family and becomes lost among the living, Angelito must turn to a new friend to help him.  A really cute book that showcases many aspects of the Day of the Dead festival and imagines a friendship between two young boys from opposite worlds.

Dance along with the skeletons in Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration as they come out of their tombs to celebrate Day of the Dead.  They enjoy the offerings left for them and enjoy playing in the cemetery and around the town.  The text is simple but lively, to go with the colorful pictures of the skeletons’ fiesta.

Remembering Loved Ones

Ghost Wings is a beautiful book about a girl dealing with the loss of a beloved grandmother.  Her father tells her that when you love someone, they never really leave, just like the monarch butterflies that return to the Magic Circle in the forest every autumn.  When the butterflies return that fall and the Days of the Dead arrive, she discovers the joy in remembering her grandmother and celebrating her life.  Includes information about Day of the Dead and the monarch butterflies as well as a guide to using the book to discuss feelings and memories with children.

The image of butterflies can also be seen in Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead. Each year when the monarch butterflies return, Lupita knows that Day of the Dead will soon be here. But this year’s celebration will be different for Lupita, whose favorite uncle has just passed away. It was he who taught her not to harm the butterflies, since they are believed to be the souls of the departed. Though the rituals of Day of the Dead comfort Lupita, it is not until she sees a lone butterfly flying above her uncle’s grave that the gloom begins to lift from her heart.

Beto and The Bone Dance is also about a child remembering his grandmother during the Day of the Dead, though it is a bit less melancholy than other of the books listed here. Beto wants to make something special for his Grandmother, who has recently died, but others have already made pan de muertos and Grandmother’s favorite drinks and foods.  Luckily, Beto receives help from someone very special to add to the altar what Grandmother loved of all.

Another book about a child dealing with loss is Felipa and the Day of the Dead.  It is from a German author, who was moved by the Day of the Dead celebrations she witnessed when studying art in Mexico.  Years later she traveled to Bolivia and studied their Todos Santos traditions, on which she based this beautiful book.  When Felipa’s grandmother dies, Felipa asks all the animals and searches through the mountains to find her grandmother’s soul.  Her father tells her that the souls of the dead live in another world, but they come to visit every year in November.  When the day finally arrives, Felipa helps with the preparations and visits the cemetery to remember her grandmother and visit with her there.  She is still sad but hopeful that each year she will have this special day to visit with her grandmother.

A beautifully done book about loss is Maria Molina and the Days of the Dead. Though Maria’s family does not have much money, they find special ways to celebrate Day of the Dead, which she describes as being like a family reunion.  For Maria, the heart of the festival is spent in the graveyard, remembering loved ones who have died.  (Note: One of those that Maria has lost is her infant brother, Pablo).  When Maria moves with her family to the United States, she wonders how they will continue to honor the dead in their new home, yet she discovers that the spirit of Day of the Dead can be continued even far away from Mexico.

When Rosita’s grandmother dies, Rosita is inconsolable, until her grandfather tells her that she can show her grandmother how much she misses her by making her a gift for Day of the Dead. Gift For Abuelita / Un regalo para Abuelita really shows the love that infuses all of the rituals of the Day of the Dead, and what a comfort it can be to loved ones.

Day of the Dead series | Multicultural Kid BlogsThis post is part of the Day of the Dead series on Multicultural Kid Blogs.  Follow along all month as we share ideas for teaching children about this festival!

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15+ Skeleton Crafts & Activities - Alldonemonkey.com - Perfect for Halloween or Day of the Dead

Last fall Monkey was fascinated with scarecrows.  This year?  He loves skeletons!  I guess my little boy is growing up! 😉

Luckily he’s not into the spooky stuff yet (not sure I’m ready for that!).  He likes skeletons mainly because he thinks x-rays are so cool.  The fact that they are also associated with Halloween just adds to the fun!

(See my X-ray post, part of the 31 Days of ABCs series!)

So here are great posts from some blogging friends about skeletons – perfect for Halloween and Day of the Dead!  For more ideas, check out my Fall Fun for Kids Pinterest Board or the Day of the Dead Pinterest board from Multicultural Kid Blogs.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking through to Amazon, I will receive a small commission.

Skeletons Everywhere!


To get us started, For the Love of Spanish has some wonderful crafts and activities, as well as book recommendations, for teaching the letter “E” for esqueleto (skeleton).

Of course, skeletons can also be used to teach about the human body, as shown with this Montessori-Inspired Skeleton Unit on Living Montessori Now.  You will find lots of great resources here!


Red Ted Art - Skull Cake Pops - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

You can learn how to make Skull Cake Pops at Red Ted Art…

Candy Bones - FSPDT - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

… or candy bone snacks from Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails.


You are the roots - Halloween Crafting - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

I already have my Q-tips and glue ready for Monkey and I to do this skeleton craft from You Are the Roots!

Dinosaur-Skeleton-Fantastic Fun and Learning - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

How much fun are these play dough x-ray skeletons from Fantastic Fun and Learning?

Marshmallow Skull - No Time for Flash Cards - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

And what kid wouldn’t want to make a skull out of marshmallows, like this one from No Time for Flash Cards?

Crystal's Tiny Treasures- Skeletons in the Closet - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

Ooh, do you have skeletons in your closet?  They do over at Crystal’s Tiny Treasures!

Easy-Skeleton-Costume - Red Ted Art - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

And here’s an easy skeleton costume from Red Ted Art.   They also made these great skull and cross bone cards!

Teach your kids Spanish with this fun skeleton song from Spanish Playground!  She also recommends the book Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes. “It has Spanish Halloween words woven into the text and is just scary enough that certain kids love it. It is not strictly about skeletons, but there are plenty in the book.”

Day of the Dead

Ever wonder why there are so many skeletons and skulls for Day of the Dead?  Here is a great explanation of the holiday from Kid World Citizen.

Skeletons Everywhere!  Popsicle Stick Calaveras Craft from Spanglish Baby on Alldonemonkey.com

I love this adorable popsicle stick calaveras craft from Spanglish Baby!  It really shows how Day of the Dead is not meant to be scary.

You can also find great coloring pages and other printables for Day of the Dead at Spanish Playground.

Fancy Day of the Dead Skulls - Kid World Citizen - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

Love these fancy Day of the Dead skulls from Kid World Citizen.  As her daughter says: “Glitter makes everything better!”

Green Owl Art - Packing Peanut Skull Day of the Dead - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

I never would have thought to make skulls out of packing peanuts like these from Green Owl Art!

Toddling in the Fast Lane made a fun matching game to go with the Calavera Abecedario.

For more on Day of the Dead, visit this wonderful slideshow from Kid World Citizen.

Thank you to all of the bloggers who let me share their amazing posts here!  Are you ready for Halloween and Day of the Dead?

This post has been shared at Pinning for Play, Share It Saturday, and Crafty Moms Share’s Sharing Saturday.

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